Monday, January 17, 2011

Garden Design!

What a beautiful weekend it was!  I'm sure those of you in the Midwest and East Coat don't want to hear this, but it was in the high 70's here Sunday.  Nice Santa Ana!  No wind - just perfect conditions!  So, I got back to work on my garden area.  Gardening in the desert is not easy task.  Below, I'm sinking posts for a totally enclosed garden and there is also metal lathe (cheaper than hardware cloth) that runs two feed down all the way around the garden so the small rodents can't dig under and get in.  Chicken wire is not satisfactory, as some of the critters can easily slip through those bigger holes.  Luckily, we got big rains two or three weeks back, so the ground was soft to dig a trench.

The garden isn't huge, but should get me started and I think I should be able to grow quite a bit.  It's about 16 feet by 12 feet and 6 feet tall.  It will have to be completely enclosed with hardware cloth - sides and top to keep birds and rodents out.  I've been prepping the soil in this area for a few months.  It is set right behind the chicken coop.  That way in the fall, I can let the chickens into the garden when it gets late in the season, they can have lots of treats and they'll fertilize it.

I also started a compost bin and that sits right behind the garden next to where the gate will be.  I got some old pallets and put in some alfalfa that got scattered and had been sitting in the feed area of my horse for over a year.  The bottom layers were already composting and turning a dark brown.  On top of that, I put some remnants of our juicing.  We juice over 25 lbs. of organic carrots a week, so we have tons of fruit and veggie pulp to put on the compost pile.

The chickens found their way in it and had a great time.  No problem as they'll just leave their own "stuff" and that will speed up the compost process even more!

Below you can see the posts for the garden.  I'll be planting in mid to late March.

Just a different view.  I really hope it works this time!  I have tried to grow things 3 seasons in a row and have been unsuccessful, but I'm going the extra mile this time! 

It's MLK day today, and I'm working but gearing up for midday Wednesday when we take off in the motorhome!  We have new neighbors and they are WONDERFUL!  Nice family and the two kids (11 and 13 years old) are soooo excited to take care of the chickens and gather eggs while we are gone.  It's so good having nice folks who you like and can trust with your stuff.


  1. Your garden is going to be great! Love that you got the compost bin already going out back! Do you think you might use some of your horses digestables as well in there, or will it be strickly chicken poo, yard and table scraps? I have a small one going of the horsie poo, and that makes a good bottom layer in some of our raised beds. Wow 70's?! I was doing a happy dance when we went above freezing and the pipes unfroze in the barn! :) Enjoy the weather, and have a great trip!

  2. Nice start on your garden. Think Square foot gardening. There is a good book by the same Title. Have a great time on your trip, take tons of pictures so you can post...I love to travel by proxy. My neighbor looks after our fur babies when we're away. i put something on my blog for you. Peace. Love , and happiness.

  3. Love it! Love it! Love it!

    What an awesome job you are doing! I am really impressed. The garden will be perfect. I can imagine the green now. I am sure you are an inspiration to all your neighbors!

    The compost bin? Beautiful! The chickens will love it - and, you are right - they will be so beneficial, too...

    A get-a-way? Ohh... Sounds fun... Enjoy every moment of it. You've been working hard.

    Does your partner have a favorite recipe for juicing? I love to juice but never know optimal combinations... Any advice?


  4. Happy MLK Day. Gotta say, you don't f**k around when you set your mind to something, everything looks wonderful. Nice holistic approach to the whole thing. Horse manure not work for you? Best garden I ever had was up in Kneeland and it took truckloads of horse manure and crab shells from Humboldt bay to turn that clay into gold. Mostly flowers for drying (cocks comp, status and bachelor button, et al). Years of kicking a shovel and swinging a pick have soured me on doing anything but a minimal garden these days (enough to salsa). Anyway...have a great trip (and the swap meet?)!

  5. Wow, it is amazing to see what is involved in growing things in the dry places on earth... If there is any grade for effort, you already are getting an A+!

    I love your compost heap and am glad to see the chickens are supervising your work!

    Hope your trip is FUN! Can't wait to hear about it.


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